When you first start to look for a work at home job, it’s easy to get discouraged. Postings for work at home jobs can be scarce and when they do come up, competition among applicants is fierce. What many moms new to telecommuting don’t realize is that there is another way to land a work at home job – Networking. Many people get their work at home jobs either directly from or as a referral through other people they network with.
When you are networking, you are not actively pursuing a work at home job. Your main focus should be on making new friends in the Telecommuting community. Down the road those friends may send you a lead for a great job, but first you have to make those friends.
Let’s take a look at four different ways to network in the Work at Home Community.
Message boards are a great way to network with other telecommuters. Spend your time asking questions and answer the questions of other people. You may not see any immediate return for the time invested in networking on the boards, but it will pay off in the long run.
If you are a person that is helpful and well liked on the message board, and one of the other board members comes across a position they are not qualified for, or they just don’t need the extra work at the moment, they will likely think of you and send the lead your way (and you should do the same).
Creating those types of relationships are what you are working to create through networking on message boards.
One of the biggest online groups is the Ryze Network, but there are also Google, Yahoo and MSN Groups. Each of these networks has groups on any topic under the sun.
Search for Telecommuting groups and lurk around a few for a while. You’ll find one or two groups that seem like a good fit for you and then start participating.
After you have gotten to know some other telecommuters on the boards or in the groups, approach them about exchanging Instant Messenger ids. You know have a fast one-on-one way to stay in touch with them and to further build a relationship.
Local Work At Home Mom Groups
Check with your local chamber of commerce or the small business organization to find some local offline networking events. Just like networking in the online world, you are there to meet new people and develop relationships with them.
Some of the best places to network online are WAHM.com – the first work at home mom website with an active forum and of course TelecommutingMoms.com/BB – the only message board devoted to telecommuting moms. Head over there today and make some new friends!
Be careful not to get too wrapped up with chatting though…it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in message boards and spend hours a day networking!
So please be sure to keep a good balance. If you network “right” you will see the benefits of telecommuting networking!